March 11 Poll: Why Engineer Sule Remains Candidate To Beat

By Ali Abare

On March 11, 2023, electorates in Nasarawa State will troop out to vote for the governor that will be at the helm of affairs for the next four years.

This election is different from previous elections in more ways than one, with the exercise considered by political pundits as a litmus test for the birth of a true democracy, where the votes of the people counts.

Aside the introduction of technology in the voting process by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), geared towards sanitizing the exercise through the BVAS machine that will eliminate ballot box snatching and over voting, it’s also glaring that the country’s democracy is growing steadily, with the people now showing commitment to elect their leaders.

In Nasarawa State, the governorship contest is a two-horse thing, with the contest mostly between the incumbent, His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule and Hon. David Onbugadadu of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in a repeat of the 2019 election.

The governorship candidates of other political parties in this election, including the candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Hon Abdullahi Maidoya, could best be described as spoilers, whose outing will have insignificant effect on the outcome of the election.

Of course, the stakes are high and it’s for this reason that it’s expected that electorates in the state may not pander to sentiments and political blackmail but to ensure they do the right thing by voting for a candidate that has all it takes to take Nasarawa State to the next level in terms of much needed development, improved welfare, standard of living and economic prosperity.

For a reporter that has covered politics in Nasarawa State since the wee hours of the tenure of the first executive governor of the state, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, I am conversant with the various styles of governance by successive administrations in the state.

I make bold to say that, in terms of commitment, clear vision and wherewithal to deliver, there is no administration that is comparable to that of His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule.

Certainly, from 2011, when Senator Umaru Tanko Al-makura took over the mantle of leadership from the PDP led government of the late Alhaji Aliyu Akwe Doma, the state began to witness genuine efforts to bequeath tangible, visible and realistic development.

Realistic in the sense that, the prevailing thinking was strictly within the box. The Al-makura administration efficiently managed the accruing resources which the government used in implementing its development initiatives.

Senator Al-makura singlehandedly changed the development compass of the state, initiating measures and policies that at the beginning appeared stringent for the people as the then governor cut down on excessive government expenditure, blocked several financial loopholes and instituted strictness in the management of resources.

It’s safe to say that, even though His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule has the potential and capacity to think outside the box, his coming to power was only made possible through the selfless efforts put in by Senator Al-makura, who showed uncommon leadership by choosing to not only rotate the seat of power to Nasarawa North, but zeroed in on a successor who has the experience and capacity to do more than him in terms of bringing development to the state.

Al-makura’s resolve and tenacity in spite of growing animosity from politicians mostly from Nasarawa West senatorial district, who resisted tye former governor’s decision to shift the seat of power to Nasarawa North, is indeed worthwhile and is now paying off glowing.

His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, is miles apart from any of the candidates contesting against him in this election both in terms of character and experience. He came into power having straddled the top echelon of the organized private sector where he resigned as the Group Managing Director of the Dangote Group.

His education and work experience took him over the globe where he gained massive experience in prudent management of resources, personnel management, oil and gas exploration and the rare ability to think outside the box.

It’s this rare ability to think outside the box that is making the incumbent Governor a hot sell among all the candidates.

Since coming into office, Engineer Sule has continued to demonstrate his ability to think outside the box, initiating projects and policies aimed at harnessing resources that is being channeled towards bringing further development to the state.

Unlike in previous dispensations, Engineer Sule did not limit his viability to only the monthly federation allocation, devising several other means and initiatives to attract more funds into the state. For instance, by keying into the transparency and accountability initiatives of the World Bank, through the establishment of the Nasarawa State Bureau for Public Procurement, the state received humongous sums of money which the administration channeled towards more development projects.

Most significantly, drawing from his vast experience from the oil and gas industry, His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule is leaving no stone unturned in the quest to explore and exploit both solid minerals and the new found petroleum resources in the state, with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) now set to drill the first oil well in the state in March.

Of course, this is aside the giant efforts of the administration to industrialize the state through deliberate policy formulation and throwing around the Governor hard earned reputation as bait to attract investors into the state. Already, giant corporations such as the Dangote Group, Flour Mills Nigeria Limited, Azman Farms, Olams, amongst others, have started doing business in the state, which when fully in operation, will provide massive employment opportunities and revenue to the state.

With such landmark achievements, it’s expected that the people of the state will have no better option than to return Engineer Sule to the Government House for a second term of four years, during which Nasarawa State will transit to not only an industrialized, economically buoyant state but an oil producing entity that will statutory qualify to access the 13 percent derivation as added revenue accruing to the state.

Already, Nasarawa State, under the leadership of His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, is now being reckoned with across the country, with the state now considered as the newest investment destination in the country.

These achievements are not coming by accident but are as a result of the clear thinking, foresight and doggedness of a leader who has evidently demonstrated capacity to deliver beyond expectations.
As the electorates in Nasarawa State file out on March 11, it needs no telling therefore, why every eligible voter should cast his vote for His Excellency, Engineer Abdullahi Sule and the All Progressives Congress (APC), in order to sustain and expect more dividends of democracy from a talk and do leader and not a politician who only makes unrealistic, unachievable promises.

Abare is the Special Assistant on Media to the Governor of Nasarawa State.


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